The 2011 season was given the command to start on Friday night (June 10) at Ace Speedway after weather delayed the races to be held at Dillon Motor Speedway. The night had all the makings of a Hollywood event with stars, cars, and cameras.
The International Sport Compact Auto Racing Series (ISCARS) DASH Touring Series, Sanctioned by the American Speed Association (ASA) hosted ASA’s President, Dennis Huth at its season opener. Stuntman James A. Smith also made his first appearance of the season.
After qualifying concluded, the front row for race one saw an all Ford Focus line-up with Danny Bagwell, 2010 ISCARS Champion, grabbing the pole and Todd Hawkes starting on the outside. During qualifying several rookies took to the track to lay down their first laps on the clock in ISCARS competition.
Just as it looked like in a very popular racing movie, rookie Brian Walls from Ft. Worth, TX drove his Days of Thunder themed Ford Focus to the 5th starting position. Wallis was the highest qualifying rookie, sharing the third row with fellow rookie, Chris Townsend in his Roush/Yates sponsored Ford.
Before the race began, Romesburg Media Group strategically placed cameras around the track in preparation for filming a 30 minute edition of ISCARS Wide Open TV. ISCARS will announce later in July the line-up of syndicated cabled networks that will air the program.
Race 1 saw a caution on the first lap when rookie Brian Walls looped his car in turn one. The race then restarted on lap three and went green until Eric Gerchak in his Carolina Alarms Toyota Scion lost his right front tire on lap 20. The first race continued to go green all the way to lap 75 with Danny Bagwell taking the checkered flag. Rounding out the top five were Brad Queen, Joey Jones, Mike Guerity and Chris Townsend.
After three local races the Stock Car Tuner Series took back to the track for a shortened 40 lap shootout. Officials called the second race from 75 to 40 laps due to weather concerns in the area. Bagwell led the field to green and rookie Chris Townsend spun in treacherous turn one. The Green flag came back out on lap five with Bagwell leading over Walls, Queen, Guerity, and Gerchak.
A caution for debris came out on lap 18. The restart on lap 23 was short lived as several cars were collected in turn one. Guerity, Gerchak, Wallis, and Joey Jones all had some sort of damage or connection with this wreck in turn one. The race was red flagged for three minutes so that Brian Wallis’ Ford Focus could be towed back to the garage area.
Danny Bagwell who led from lap 1 in the first race and continued to dominate by taking both wins at Ace Speedway. Bagwell’s number 10 Torbert Trucking Ford Focus based out of Cordova, AL put on a great post-race show by doing his own victory burnout.
With 14 laps to go in the second race, a challenge from the lead was fast approaching when the second place car of Brad Queen fell off the pace. “We just ran out of gas,” said Queen. “We forgot to re-fuel in between races.”
Todd, Hawkes brought his number 8 Suptech Ford Focus home in third. He also had a shot at challenging Bagwell until he encountered a rare mechanical issue. “The car lost a cylinder on lap three and we finished third on five cylinders. I think we get the determination award,” said Hawkes. Rounding out the top five were Mike Guerity and Eric Gerchak.
The next race for the ISCARS DASH series will be on July 16th at the famed Old Dominion Speedway, 30 minutes outside of our Nation’s Capital, located in Manassas, VA. Some updates to the schedule: Dillon Motor Speedway will host the ISCARS series for the rain make-up on July 30th and the race at Watermelon Capital Speedway has been changed to August 20th.
Other Notes of Interest: ASA Track Promoters, Harold Crook (Lonesome Pine Raceway), Ron Barfield (Dillon Motor Speedway) and Brad Allen (ACE Speedway) along with Carl Frizzel (ASA NW Regional Director) were on hand to participate in a film promoting the ASA Member Track Program.